Ukraine: Ammunition depot explosion Emergency Plan of Action Preliminary Final Report (MDRUA008)

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

On the evening of 29 October 2015, explosions were triggered by a fire at an ammunition depot in the town of Svatovo, Luhansk Region, with a population of 19,700 people and in the nearby village of Milovatka with 2,300 residents.

The ammunition depot, situated in a residential area, had a stockpile of about 3.5 tons of ammunition which exploded. Many state-owned and private buildings were damaged. Four persons were killed, 54 persons were injured. One fourth of the population had to be evacuated from the adjacent territories to the towns of Kreminna, Troyitske, and Rubizhne. The residents of these neighbouring towns helped by bringing food for the affected population.

In the town of Svatovo, the fire and the shell explosions damaged 476 buildings (including 18 residential buildings), whereas 4 private buildings were completely destroyed. The affected population lost their food stocks and home properties. The infrastructure was also severely damaged including 4 local schools and a home for elderly people. Gas, electricity and water supplies were significantly limited and disrupted for a considerable time.

By the morning of 30 October, at around 4 am, the massive explosions in Svatovo ammunition depot stopped, although sporadic explosions continued to take place.

The town was divided into 15 sectors in order to conduct search for the missing people and to help those affected. The deactivation of unexploded devices was done by the Ministry of Emergencies` trained staff. The operational staff received 216 applications for the deactivation of unexploded ordnances.